Intermission / UPDATE

If you are visiting Caroline’s Journal for the first time prompted by the recent article in the VHS Member Newsletter, Welcome! The VHS staff has been wonderful to work with and we appreciate their support. But you have caught us taking a breather between projects.

Caroline’s Journal began over three years ago by posting the first entry – 1 June, 1864 – of Caroline’s volume #7 on its 150th anniversary. We continued daily for a little over three years when Caroline began writing in her new blank book and CJ7 came to an end.

As the project unfolded over the next three years there were many surprises, not the least of which was the ‘discovery’ of CJ1 and CJ2 at the Library of Virginia. So this winter we will begin again posting Caroline’s daily entries, this time beginning with 18 February, 1855, a Sunday, and as we learn, “A lovely day.” Join us, won’t you?

In the meantime you can drop into the ongoing journal of Caroline’s 18 year-old daughter Rose (http://www.roselittlepage.com/) which provides her take on the Littlepage family of 1853.

Further, you can sign up for daily emails alerting you of new posts on Caroline’s Journal. Look under the calendar on the sidebar.

So Welcome! Feel free to read below and poke around the website. You can even start with that first entry – use the ‘back’ arrow on the calendar – and read through CJ7 at your leisure. Hopefully we will see you again this winter.

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Yesterday Caroline wrote of Bill riding away in the evening from Woodbury west toward Enfield “as far as the field” with Mr. Cooke, his future brother-in-law. As it was the day after the summer solstice, it is possible there was still twilight for Bill to see his way as he walked back toward Woodbury. These last sentences for 22 June, 1867 were also Caroline’s last in Volume #7 of her Journal. She likely began Volume #8 today, 150 years ago, in a new blank book. She may have been happy to set aside the old upside-down damaged store ledger which had been her confidant for the past three years; three turbulent years. She may have felt a renewal, a setting aside of the old with expectations for the future. But unless CJ8 comes to hand, we will never know. So it is sadly fitting that the last we have from Caroline describes a journey, an evening journey into twilight.

In 1869 “Littlepage, Mrs. CB” appears on the King William Personal Property tax rolls, the first time she is mentioned there by name. Then Caroline, 61, appears in the US Census the following year. Recorded living with Caroline were her son Hardie and his new wife Emily, Nannie, now 20, and John C., 24, a.k.a. Zac. Bill and Liv, still single, were living on a farm in New Kent. Lucy (Pigeo), now Mrs. John Cooke, is living next door at Enfield with son John Cooke, Jr. Bake is living in the northern part of King William with her dashing Capt. Arledge and two daughters. Mary Elizabeth (Molly) is still keeping the Garland Hanes, Jr. household near Richmond, now with five children about. And Dr. Ju and Mag are still at Oak Dale with two boys and three servants.

However, Caroline is missing from the PP tax roll for 1870. If, as seems likely, Caroline died not long after the Census was taken – as of 18 July – we oddly have no record, official or otherwise. And as of this writing, her resting place has not been established. Within a couple of years the Estate of Lewis Littlepage will disappear from the tax books, Woodbury will be divided and sold, and her children, for the most part, will further scatter. They, and her grandchildren, will live interesting lives.

I would like to thank all of you who have participated by reading Caroline’s daily posts. Reading in real time the daily entries of a 150 year-old journal for three years takes rare dedication and certainly inspired me to keep going. But it also provided a unique opportunity to experience the past somewhat like Caroline did her present, one day at a time. I hope at least this part of our past looks different to you now. And I would especially like to thank the Littlepage family members and others who have assisted with their questions, comments and research. Your active participation has enriched this project for our readers, and for me.

BUT WAIT! THERE IS MORE! I invite our readers to visit http://www.roselittlepage.com/, the 1853 journal of Caroline’s 18 year-old daughter Rose. Not only can one get an alternative view of life in the Littlepage household years earlier, this blog provides us a prequel to Caroline’s first two Journal volumes which I plan to post as a daily blog beginning early next year. These two journals, which run from February, 1855 to July, 1857 present a younger Caroline, introduce us to her husband, “the Major,” and a open a window into life in antebellum King William. If you liked CJ7, you will love CJs 1 & 2.

In the meantime I will be working on the new website, spending more time with Rose’s Journal, which I have been neglecting, and fine tuning the manuscript of CJ7. We have learned much since beginning this project over three years ago. But there is so much left to learn. Surprises are just around the corner. Stay tuned!

Saturday, 22nd June, 1867

Fine day for work. Still shocking wheat. Bettie weeded corn in the garden. Tried to get Charles to fix some ground for snaps, but he is a man of his own head, does just what he wishes. – – I went out where Bill was working the sweet potatoes, wished him to take a walk and look at the corn. Had an early supper for the purpose and just as I was almost ready to start out, Timberlake came to spend the night, he found the _?_ so broken up. – – Mr. Cooke spent the evening. Bill rode out with him in his buggy as far as the field.

Friday, 21st June, 1867

A lovely day for work, but unfortunately there is no one to work. The freedmen hold a political meeting at the C. H. today and all are invited to attend. After putting up a few shocks of wheat, all left for the C. H. Men and women remained till near night. Bill didn’t get back till about 1 o’clk. P.M. – – A Dr. Norton (Colored) spoke several hours.1 – – Maj. Douglas and W.R. Aylett delivered speeches and another man by the name of Massie, not Colored externally, but a very Black heart no doubt, had rather more to say than Southern gentlemen could relish.2 – – What a lonely day I have spent. Even Bettie spent the day at C. H. after ironing a few pieces of clothing. Returned in time to milk.

  1. Probably Dr. Daniel M. Norton of Yorktown.  (back)
  2. Edmund White Massey, 32, was born in Spotsylvania County and lived in Richmond during the war, seemingly supporting the Confederate cause. Afterwards he declared himself a “radical” Republican and soon began working closely with the Freedman’s Bureau. He would move his family to West Point, become employed as a railroad clerk, and represent King William and King & Queen Counties at the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1868. Subsequently he served in the Virginia Senate from 1869 to 1875. While there he successfully promoted the incorporation of the Town of West Point (1870) and served on its first Town Council. After ten years of successfully negotiating the turbulent water of post-war Virginia politics he lost his support within the Republican Party and his elective offices. He moved his family to Norfolk and died there in December, 1884. Union General John M. Schofield, who was placed in charge of Military District No.1 (Virginia) during Reconstruction, described Massey in his private papers as an “Adventurer.” Virginia Conservative newspapers, and Caroline, were less kind. (This Edmund W. Massey should not be confused with the Edmund W. Massey who represented Warren and Clarke Counties in the General Assembly before the war. Also, our subject’s first name is frequently rendered Edward and his surname Massie.)   (back)

Thursday, 20th June, 1867

Quite a good day for harvesting, 14 hands besides our own _?_ today, Herman Hill, Joe Hill, Jim Hillyard, Fred, Jack White, Dandridge Claiborne, Humphrey, Moses Hill, besides Uncle David Nelson, each with his bander @ $2 pr. day or a bushel of wheat. – – Bill settled with Dandridge before leaving in full for Addison and Martha also. – – The rest went on to the C. H. to meet them there on Fannie. The balance of the wheat will not be ripe enough before Wednesday, Bill says. – – Repaired my sheepskin gloves, wound the cotton Martha twisted and made an apron for myself today. – – Bettie washed out a couple pair sheets right badly mildewed. – – Ellen put fresh flowers on Hallie’s grave two or three times a day. – – Hardie begins to be reconciled and sings more than he did when he had his mate. – – I am so lonely.

Wednesday, 19th June, 1867

Quite a pretty day after the morning. Dandridge and Martha came before breakfast, the latter brought my ball of cotton twisted. Frederick came soon after. Uncle David is cutting today I believe also. – – Bettie scoured and cleaned Pigeo’s room today. I am about to write an answer to a letter John Owen’s received from his sister in Rich. – – I must not omit to record that one of my dear little canaries (little Hal), my attention was to the cage by the unusual notes of wailing and lamenting by Hardie, mourning the sad fate of his beloved consort, he had his head off under his roost. – – Bill was of the opinion Frederick ought to be immediately arrested and brought to justice as suspicions were strongly in favor of her being the perpetrator of the horrid deed, but I thought it would be _?_ off my_?_ to spite my face.1 I valued her and family so much. – – I gave in charge to Ellen. Buried her under an evergreen in the circle and had two white rocks in front of her grave and put fresh flowers on it.

  1. The text here is in very bad condition. It is likely Caroline wrote here “…it would be cutting off my nose to spite my face.” Also, the name of the accused is suspect. Frederick is generally not a feminine name.  (back)

Tuesday, 18th June, 1867

Cloudy and threatening for rain. Three hands commenced cutting wheat, Herman, Frederick and Dandridge. Cut about two hours and the rain commenced and they had to desert for the rest of the day. Bill’s right much indisposed, though it would be best to diet himself. – – The hands left about eleven o’clk. Gave Martha a bucket of milk, loaf of bread and butter. Gave her a ball of sewing cotton to twist. – – Mr. Cooke came just as we finished supper, through the rain in his buggy from the sale at the Piping Tree. Came by the C. H. and brought papers and letters from Baltimore, Smith Elliott and Co. check for eleven _?_ of wheat.1 Purchased at the sale the old clock for Bill for $4.50. Purchased the large mahogany dining table for himself at $10.00 and some other things.

  1. Smith, Elliott & Co., Grocers and Commission Merchants, No. 12 Roanoke Square, Norfolk. The missing word is probably barrels.  (back)

Monday, 17th June, 1867

Showery. Notwithstanding, Bill started Humphrey and Herman cutting after fixing up their scythes. Frederick came after dinner and ground up his blade. – – Bettie hilled a few rows of corn in the garden, but her husband objected to it and she came out and went to sewing for herself. – – Sent the bushel of meal home borrowed of Dr. Littlepage. The _?_ brought back two gallons whiskey from Mr. Pollard for harvest.1 – – Mr. Cooke spent the evening and sat till eleven.

  1. Although the text here is not damaged, I have been unable to decided what or who brought back the whiskey. Click here to make a suggestion.  (back)

Sunday, 16th June, 1867

Excessively warm, but pleasant breeze. Bill started early to Church (West Point).1 Dined at Mrs. Robinson’s, supped at the tavern and home at ten o’clk. Little Shakespeare has fasted all day. I never spent a more lonely day. Bettie and John spent the day at Enfield. Came back time enough to milk. Lucy has milked last week or ten days. – – Capt. Tolly and another gentleman came this evening to let me know he had brought Hardie’s trunk from Baltimore _?_ is the White Oak and wishes me to send for. He will be home in ten days. He is on a visit in Gloucester. He also brought the empty bags _?_ _?_ Bramble.2 – – Had a nice shower today. Our crop begins to improve. Bill’s not quite so despairing today. – – Owens took out a suit of clothes this morning.

  1. Certainly St. John’s Church at the lower end of the county.  (back)
  2. These may be the bags referred to on 15 May.  (back)

Saturday, 15th June, 1867

More pleasant today, a gentle breeze all day. Fine day for cutting wheat, but as usual the hands disappointed. We hope not to be disappointed on Monday. Today was the proper day to commence. – – Bettie weeded a square of ground peas this morning, employed the evening for herself. I generally get suppers, have them early in the evening. Made potato puddings today. I never knew sweet potatoes to keep as long before in my life. – – Mr. Cooke sent a tumbrel for ice and I sent the box of things Pigeo purchased in Richmond for Mrs. Harrison by George. – – John Owens came in this evening to look at some clothes he wished to purchase. – – Through the carelessness of Ellen, my pig Mr. Henley sent me has gotten out and gone.

Friday, 14th June, 1867

A most excessively hot day. I went out and laid bricks by the front door early before the day became too hot. Had Herman assist me. Bill came to the house before we finished and he helped me. Bettie is weeding the walks today, can’t work in the garden, the _?_ _?_ _?_ . Lucy came in this evening and neatly weeded a square cabbage. I engaged her to weed a couple of squares. – – Bev returned from Richmond today. Came down to bring the horse and things Pigeo sent down for Mrs. Harrison and Miss Carey, also brought me a rake for which he paid $1.25 and a piece of shirting Mary purchased for me. – – Bill went this evening to get hands for harvesting wheat, wishes to commence in the morning. – – Paid Bev $1.80. He sold my butter @ 25 cts. Bill came in about 1 o’clk. and I was so aroused that I slept no more but arose and did various things before day.

Thursday, 13th June, 1867

The weather oppressively hot. George Lipscomb came this morning to thin corn. Addison thinning also. Bill made some alterations in the cultivator and thinks it does good work now. – – Bettie cooked breakfast his morning. Has been sick about two-thirds of her time since she came here. Was taken sick 15th May. Came in and cleaned up and laid the beds out and got dinner. I cooked supper, and after an early supper, sent _?_ a loaf of bread and a basket of snaps for_?_ & he returned before dark with a note. Mr. Henley sent a pig this evening by his little sons.

Wednesday, 12th June, 1867

The weather not so cool. I was up quite early and had breakfast, thinking Pigeo and Bev would make an early start to Richmond, but we finished breakfast before he came and by the time he got ready to start it was six o’clk. or later. – – Sent a bucket of butter, some 6 or 7 lbs. Loaned him Phil to drive. Will be back tomorrow or next day. – – Mr. Cooke came this evening and stayed until eleven. Charles handed out supper in the parlor before dark.

Tuesday, 11th June, 1867

The weather is really cold. Notwithstanding, I went in the garden and took Charles and Ellen and worked till I became excessively warm. Came in about 12 and laid down while Pigeo prepared dinner, had everything very nice. Bill went away on business before dinner, returned to supper, having dined at Ju’s. The condition of his cornfield bothers him very much. – – I planted corn today where I had early peas in the strawberry square. Charles is working it over. Ellen pulled up pea vines.

Monday, 10th June, 1867

Very cool and clear today. I took Charles and Ellen and undertook to make a pig pen this morning, as the 3 pigs are so troublesome. Bill helped to put them in as soon as it was done. – – Bev Littlepage spent the morning. Will take Pigeo to Richmond on Wednesday. Left before dinner and returned again to supper and left before bedtime. Left me a basket of cherries to pick. Dr. Ju paid a visit to Bettie Owens this evening. Joined me in a cup of coffee and then walked all about the premises, including the garden, and continued my walk with him where he left as far as to where the hands were thinning corn. Gave them some instruction about it and returned to the house. – – Bill attended singing at Acquinton Church.

Sunday, 9th June, 1867

The weather still inclement. Mr. Hanes, Mary and children started about 7 for their home. – – Bill left early for Jerusalem, and Pigeo and I were left alone. Bettie still sick, so I am “Chief Cook and bottle washer.” I walked to the quarters to know the reason, when Lucy refused to milk, after my engaging her service while Bettie is sick. It seems that the two families are at daggers draw.

Saturday, 8th June, 1867

Quite an inclement day. Nevertheless, Mary, with the children and Pigeo to accompany them, took the wagon to the White for the Cars to Richmond.1 Started about ½ past 1 o’clk., with Bill to drive George and Phil. – – Gave Pigeo $21 to lay out for herself and Mary $5 to purchase some domestics, i.e. $.20 per yard. Gave Bill $1. – – The house is so still now I expect the mice will have a jubilee. – – Mr. Cooke came about 12 and gave me two papers and a letter from Zac, a semi-annual report, and a paper for Bill from Zac. The rain has increased from the time they all left and about 6 o’clk. all hands, baby and all, came walking down the road. The Cars disappointed them, and the horses refused to pull at the sandy hill, and in a few minutes after they came, Mr. Hanes came with a conveyance to take them home. I soon had supper and all retired early.

  1. “White” in this case probably mean the White House in New Kent just across the river from Pamunkey Island as “cars” certainly refers to rail cars of the recently rebuilt Richmond & York River Railroad.  (back)

Friday, 7th June, 1867

A lovely morning and rainy evening. This is the 2nd day Addison has worked, ½ the day today. Commenced raining and continued through the evening. Gave Lucy some things to wash for Mary. – – Had the first dish of snaps today and fine Irish potatoes.

Thursday, 6th June, 1867

A lovely day. Bettie still sick and my garden is run away with grass. Charles could do something with it if he were not so trifling. Mary is very busy. Has done a great deal of work since she has been down. – – Pigeo, I believe, has finished the third shirt for Liv as far as she can. Cora’s making the bosoms for him. – – Mr. Cooke came in his buggy again this evening to take Pigeo to ride. They returned, I had a waiter set in the parlor. The supper bell rung just as he drove in the yard, but they preferred waiting till they returned.

Wednesday, 5th June, 1867

Another delightful day. Bettie is sick and I got breakfast this morning, with the exception of what she cooked for the servants. Ellen remained at the quarters today, and Charles is so trifling its more trouble than profit to look after him. The whole family, except Uncle David, presume a great deal. Clarissa and Lucy are weeding corn again today. Mary and Pigeo busy sewing, and I am winding warp for flannel. – – Strawberries are becoming scarce. – – Mr. Cooke came over in his buggy this evening. Took Pigeo to ride. We had finished supper when he came, so I got Bill to take the waiter of supper in the parlor to him before riding, thinking it would be late before they returned. Bill started to the C. H. before they left, No papers or letters, i.e., no one sent for them. Mr. Cooke and Pigeo returned about nine and Bill eleven, the former left ½ past. I had taken a nap and I arose at that time and got to thinking about Hardie. I couldn’t help feeling a little concerned after hearing the news Gen. Roper brought from Baltimore, said he would be home this week to make preparations for marrying. In the meantime, go to cutting hoop poles and put in a large crop of wheat this fall. Quite novel doings.

Tuesday, 4th June, 1867

A delightfully pleasant morning. I am sitting in the front porch writing this and enjoying the delightful odors of the multiflora and honeysuckle, and occasionally glance at the freedmen and women working the corn, &c. Clarissa and Lucy are weeding corn and Bettie and Charles ridging down the sweet potatoes. – – Clarissa brought me a bucket of May cherries this morning. Bill rode out and spent the evening, returned about 12 or 1 o’clk. No one to go for the mail today. I am expecting letters from Nan, Zac, Bake and Hardie. – – Mary and Pigeo confine themselves mostly to their rooms today sewing. Say they can’t work downstairs. The latter is about three shirts for Liv and the former about dresses for the children.

Monday, 3rd June, 1867

Fine growing weather for everything, especially grass. The frequent and excessive rains prevent work, but we can only submit to what we cannot control. The Lord will provide. – – I have been all day most bothering over books and getting them straight. Bill remained in bed till evening to miss his chill, succeeded. Took a teaspoonful of Spt. turpentine last night at bedtime. Bettie is jobbing for herself today. Had an early supper and took a nap at twilight and got up and went with Pigeo down and did some little things in the dining room and had an additional cup of strong coffee and we retired at 12. Mary, with the baby, having been asleep in the back chamber several hours. – – Bill rode Fannie out late this evening to look for labor. The grass is taking possession of the corn field.

Sunday, 2nd June, 1867

Cloudy with showers, nevertheless, have George and Phil hitched to the wagon and all, except Mary, Mollie and Carrie, attend Church. We had a nice time except getting a little wet, which didn’t hurt much. John Owens is a good driver. The horses performed admirably after giving us some trouble starting off from Church. – – Bill attended Jerusalem, Mr. Henley preached. He remained to the singing class in the afternoon and returned home to supper. Mary and I have had discussions on the subject of training children. We differ greatly in some respects.

Saturday, 1st June, 1867

Quite a pleasant day. The days pass swiftly away and I take no note of time scarcely, but from its loss, which I much deplore. – – Bill rode Phil to Acquinton Church and came by the C. H. and brought letters, one from Nan, one from Pollard and one from Liv to Mary. – – She has commenced conferring with the home folks on the question of returning to her home, finding her health much improved during her stay in King Wm. I forgot to say that Bill had a chill and had to go to bed at Dr. Ju’s.